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Foes, supervisors trade barbs on jail issue

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Cindy Bailey of Woodstock addresses the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors Tuesday night. Rich Cooley/Daily


The following audio clips are from the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday:

Audio Audio: Consent agenda, recognition of the Stonewall Jackson High School track team, 4-H presentation by the extension office

Audio Audio: Economic development and tourism report, Edinburg school project discussion

Audio Audio: Edinburg school project discussion continued, Planning Commission items, discussion of new polling locations

Audio Audio: Polling locations discussion continued

Audio Audio: Public comments non-agenda items continued

Audio Audio: Supervisors comments

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Toms Brook resident Mark Prince chastises board members during the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors meeting Tuesday night in Woodstock. Rich Cooley/Daily

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WOODSTOCK -- Foes of the regional jail and other high-cost projects gave the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors an earful Tuesday.

But supervisors fired back at the opponents, accusing them of giving "misleading" and "false" information to residents to bolster their arguments.

"Please. Please get out of this jail, because it's going to cost us a lot of money," said Strasburg resident Phillip Hunt at the public comment time toward the end of the supervisors' meeting.

Hunt criticized supervisors for claiming they could not pull out of the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail Authority when, in fact, Page County had done so previously. Hunt said Sheriff Timothy Carter has refuted the need for the regional jail. Hunt questioned supervisors' credentials for approving a project that goes against the sheriff's opinion.

Other speakers who said they opposed the jail project also criticized the supervisors for the authority's action last week to seek legal recourse against vocal opponents who sought to delay the sale of the bonds for the facility.

However, Supervisor Chairman Conrad A. Helsley defended himself and the jail authority board for its actions, including the request of its attorney to seek legal action if any is available. Helsley several times had to hammer down the gavel when vocal jail opponent Cindy Bailey stood up and asked supervisors to tell the audience the exact cost of the project. Helsley warned Bailey he would have her removed from the room if she made another outburst. He did not answer her question.

Helsley did calculate the amount the efforts by opponents cost the authority by the delay of the bond sale as $1.75 million over the life of the loan.

"There's nothing wrong with free speech but let's not mislead people," Supervisor David Ferguson said.

Supervisor Sharon Baroncelli warned opponents spreading misinformation has consequences.

"You are hurting people," Baroncelli said. "You are hurting organizations. You are hurting business prospects and the economy."

"I don't appreciate personal attacks and I think there were a lot of personal attacks against this board," Helsley said.

While longtime vocal opponents Bailey and Mark Prince spoke at the meeting against the jail project, other residents joined them in expressing concern about the debt the county taxpayers would face. Speakers also criticized the jail authority board, whose membership includes supervisors, for voting to seek legal action against opponents of the project who sought to delay the bond sale earlier this month.

Not all speakers criticized supervisors or the project.

"I don't have any problem paying for the jail because I know we need it," said Charles Dellinger, noting the county jail remains overcrowded and regional facilities are more efficient when housing inmates.

Edinburg resident Frank Bennett chastized Prince for making comments about Adolf Hitler and fascism.

"I've heard a lot of things this evening that are said to incite anger," Bennett said, asking later that he would rather see an independent party produce information on the jail project.

A handful of the vocal opponents of the projects stood outside the government center before the supervisors' meeting to distribute flyers of information to people coming to the board's regular session.

Opponents also spoke to the Daily before the meeting. New Market resident Mark Capozzella said he feared the county government would keep borrowing large sums of money to cover projects and impose higher taxes to pay for the debt, eventually forcing people off land they could no longer afford. Capozzella moved to Shenandoah County after he experienced a similar situation in Bethesda, Md., which forced him to leave.

Capozzella remained critical of the county's recent moves to borrow money for controversial projects.

Prince and other opponents accuse supervisors as well as the authority board of infringing on their rights to speak out and express grievances they have regarding the project. The authority board last week asked its attorney to look into any legal recourse the entity may have against the opponents who sought to delay the sale this month of $32 million in bonds through the Virginia Resource Authority.

Prince also accuses some members of the board of supervisors of "lying" and distributed information ahead of the meeting. Prince noted this has taken place over the course of years yet no one on the board has admonished anyone.

"So in essence they're condoning everything that has gone wrong," Prince said before the meeting. "Now they're suing us."

Prince noted the suit should be directed at him since he started the protest against the jail project seven years ago.

"I'm not afraid of them one iota," Prince added.

Cindy Bailey, also an opponent of the regional jail and other high-debt projects, has expressed worry the county would need to raise its real estate tax rates to pay for the loans and the ongoing operating costs of the new facilities which she claims are not needed.

"Until now, this board has been re-elected on promises not to raise taxes even though they are building unnecessarily during the worst recession in 80 years," Bailey said in a written statement. "The county's supervisors have once again broken their promise to the citizens of Shenandoah County and had to raise taxes this year. They will have to raise taxes every year for the rest of our lives and many generations to come."

Some of the same people opposed to the jail set up a table outside the government center and asked for residents' input on whether the county should impose term limits for members on the board of supervisors and other elected offices. The group collected the input by way of petitions. Organizers said they don't have plans yet to seek a recall election for the board of supervisors. They first wish to see the community's feelings on term limits.

Also at the meeting supervisors

  • Delayed until August a request for a special use permit sought to operate a poultry slaughterhouse at 4145 Conicville Road in Mt. Jackson. Edwin and Dana Wilson requested the permit, but at a public hearing held by the planning commission on the matter neighbors spoke against the proposal. The planning commission voted to recommend the supervisors deny the permit request. The matter came before the supervisors Tuesday but granted a request to delay action to allow the Wilsons to gather more information.
  • Approved a special use permit for a bakery business at 359 Boyer Road, Fort Valley.


Okay Board, I’ve been warned, I can’t be blamed for spreading misinformation when you have not provided your constituents with valid information. Do you know how much this is really going to cost us? You tell us we can afford it -- then vote to raise our taxes. How long can we continue to cover the county's budgetary shortfalls? We have no new businesses in the county. No growth, does that mean homeowners will be covering a larger share of the property taxes in the years to come? I didn’t get the right to vote on this regional jail boondoggle, but ‘yes’ you will hear my voice loud and clear -- I will and do hold the board accountable. Sue me.

The BOS should be Terminated for them trying to justify there consent to SUE THE TAX PAYERS in Shenandoah County. They want us to give them our money for there pet projects along with stripping away our first amendments rights.
The BOS may set in there chairs and rock back and forth, along with an unbecoming smile on Ms. B's face and act unconcerned but just wait you will feel the TAX PAYERS WRATH this ELECTION! If they last that long!


I used the following statute to remove a former Harrisonburg City Treasurer...

§ 24.2-233. Removal of elected and certain appointed officers by courts.

Upon petition, a circuit court may remove from office any elected officer or officer who has been appointed to fill an elective office, residing within the jurisdiction of the court:

1. For neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties when that neglect of duty, misuse of office, or incompetence in the performance of duties has a material adverse effect upon the conduct of the office....

If someone would like a copy of the petition I write, simply email me at briggman@gmail.com

"Supervisor Sharon Baroncelli warned opponents spreading misinformation has consequences."

The author of this article failed to follow up with this critical statement, to obtain supporting facts. What has been said by those people speaking out agains the jail, that is inaccurate?

"You are hurting people," Baroncelli said. "You are hurting organizations. You are hurting business prospects and the economy."
So, under these supervisors our big hope for business prospects is a jail? Maybe the Supervisors should also be the first occupants!


I think someone needs to answer the following email I have sent repeatedly to each of our supervisors:

I am very concerned about the waste to the county of building a regional jail when the Northwest Regional Jail, in Frederick County, VA., for the 3rd year in a row has been able to keep a wing consisting of 800 beds closed because of lack of need.
I refer you to: http://www.nradc.com/2011%20Annual%20Report.pdf (Fiscal Year 2011 Annual Report). On page 2 is the following:
"FY11 represented the third consecutive year of a reduction in the inmate population. After average daily populations of 563 and 555 in FY-0 and FY10 respectively, the FY11 average daily population (ADP) declined to 551 inmates. Females represented approximately 17% of the FY11 ADP. Approximately 23% of the ADP was state-responsible inmates. On average, 21.5 of the 551 inmates in custody were categorized as being out of compliance, approximately 6.5 percent offenders higher than the average number out of compliance in FY10.
The absence of significant growth in the Jail population in FY11 afforded us the opportunity to keep the Security Annex Housing unoccupied for the third consecutive year."
Further research online will show the number of beds to be 800 double bunked.
A reply would be appreciated.

Hasnt this been going on for far to long with the same people in our political boards and councils? No one is speaking the truth from the BOS. Have they ever spoken the truth?

Is this not the same BOS that took illegal action against one of the county's volunteer rescue squads? It seems the the BOS and the County Fire/Rescue Dept didnt tell the truth about a lot of things back then if I recall. The NVD didnt report on that at all. Only what it wanted to and to make the volunteers look bad and sell their newspapers.

Why should it be any different now? Now the taxes will be raised to fund more positions (13 new paid firefighters??), what about the raises for the other county depts or keeping teachers, etc., but yet we have to hire new firefighters when they choose to close depts? How can you close a volunteer agency and then take the funding from others, how does that promote volunteering??

So the same BOS is at it again. Are the right facts being presented? Is the truth being told? Is the media being bias and reporting the facts or just wanting to sell newspapers and only print the gossip??

Maybe a new BOS can look at the entire county and cut the things that are waste and save whats needed. Not to raise taxes to build empires for some depts and buy into projects without first seeing all the facts first.

This discussion wouldn't be complete without shining a light on the massive prison system abuse that has been taking shape in the US since about 1980.

Per capita, the US imprisons twice as many people as Communist China! Now isn't that an interesting statistic. This is thanks to MANDATORY sentencing of non-violent offenders (like kids being caught smoking pot). The prison business (and that's what it is) has become a very, very lucrative. Here's how ...

Typically, prisons get sold to private owners who house prisoners for so much money per day. Taxpayers are on the hook for this room and board. Therefore, the private owners make their best money when the prison is filled. It's "good business" to keep the prison full. How many stupid laws have been created to keep prisons full? I don't know, but it's a lot.

Next part of the deal is the owners contract with private corporations to produce products in the prison and, obviously, receive compensation for goods produced. It's win-win and lose-lose. The prison owners and corporations win while the inmates and the taxpayers lose. Those prisoners (who are often in the can for pitifully insignificant "crimes," and who make the widgets the prison owners have contracted to make, get an average of 23 cents per hour.

Who needs Chinese slave labor when you can run your own slave labor camp?

Folks, do your own research on this slavery-tax ripoff scam. There's plenty of info on the internet. Even at Wikipedia. Start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Incarceration_in_the_United_States

On June 26, 2012 after the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisor’s meeting, I talked to board member, David Ferguson about the “out of control” ad he brought up during the meeting, which ran in the Free Press last week. Another citizen, new to the county meetings, was there with us. Ferguson wanted to know how I came up with the future projected debt. As Ferguson and I debated different issues back and forth, Ferguson stated “Cindy, I just figured out what your problem is”, I said what’s that? Ferguson said “your daddy didn’t spank you enough when you were a little girl”, to which I replied, “I just figured out what your problem is Ferguson, I am a grown woman now and you still believe that a woman should be seen and not heard.” He then turned and walked away.

I wonder how the citizens of Shenandoah County feel about having a leader of the Republican Party and member of our Board of Supervisor (David Ferguson), who believes that a grown woman, who exercises her freedom of speech and right to question policy makers and elected officials spending habits, was not spanked enough as a child? That because I am brave, bold and not intimated by anyone. That I am willing to stand up and speak out and ask questions without fear of retaliation is somehow wrong or lacks discipline. I was raised in a solid Christian home and will always remember that I am beholden to no one, BUT OUR FATHER WHO ART IN HEAVEN! I wonder who the Shenandoah County Board of Supervisor’s are beholden to.

Cindy Bailey

Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Marxism, Socialism,
Germany; Nazism under Hitler,
Italy; Fascism under Mussolini
Russia; Communism under Stalin / Socialism under Karl Marx
Cuba; Communism under Fidel Castro
Vietnam; Communism under Ho Chi Minh
Cambodia; Socialism under Pol Pot who killed off 21% of his population
What do all of these have in common? The answer is the lack of FREE SPEECH and oppression of people who call it the way they see it! I served in the United States Marine Corps to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America which guarantees the right of Free Speech and the right to air your grievances which is what you are trying to stifle.
Helsley/Walker and the rest of the Board that approved the motion to sue peaceful protesters need to go back and refresh your memories about the First Amendment of the Constitution.
Here is a highlight;
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution is part of the Bill of Rights. The amendment prohibits the making of any law respecting an establishment of religion, impeding the free exercise of religion, abridging (restriction of) the freedom of speech, infringing on the freedom of the press, interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances.
Shenandoah County Board of Supervisors you have a credibility issue and we are tired of your lying;
Lying As Morris did twice while being deposed under oath about his financial relationships with Maddox.
Lying As you allowed incentives to be offered towards Maddox’s property while he voted in closed sessions on the Economic Development
Lying As you used Maddox’s property as the only site offered for the Regional Jail in Shenandoah County when two were required and as the only site for the REI project.
Lying As you allowed Walkers predecessor, Poling to LIE in court under oath about FOIA Documents that show the placement of a Regional Jail in Toms Brook that he said never existed. Yet, he passed them out at a Regional Jail Committee Meeting.
Lying As you voted to build and finance a new courthouse without a court order like you stated existed, which in fact did not.
Not once have you come out with a statement admonishing their and your actions or put policies in place to prohibit them, so in essence you are condoning and perpetuating these grievous violations.
Now, you have VOTED to SUE citizens in order to scare us and keep us quite while trying to extract some type of revenge. Well this is the second BOGUS SLAP suit you have tried to file against me and as you can see “it doesn’t work”. I am not afraid of you and you can’t intimidate me. Though you should be afraid of me because, I am not afraid to expose your dark secrets.
The following is an excerpt from my Letter to the Editor, written when I found out about the suit;
Dear Sir,
I am appalled by the treatment of Mrs. Marsha Shruntz by the Regional Jail Authority Board during their meeting on 6/21/12. Mrs Shruntz, a school bus driver, was threatened by a lawsuit from the Authority for her participation of exercising her constitutional first amendment “right of free speech” by protesting the Regional Jail Bond sale. The protesters, who are trying to stop this $100,000,000 boondoggle, according to the Jail Board will all be sued. I am one of those members and am proud to stand by her to protest what we feel is wrong. I am bringing a suit to challenge the constitutionality of whether the agreements between the Authority and the counties are valid. Remember, they are actually taxing us for a minimum period of 30 years “VA Code” to pay for their facility and operate it without holding a vote “or referendum” by the people for approval as required by the Constitution. I have no problems if a referendum is held and the taxpayers actually vote on it, but our Supervisors are taxing us without representation. The costs are staggering and building as I write this letter. Our government officials traded verbal blows “Helsley and Sheriff Carter” during this meeting about culpability when Helsley surely knows that the Virginia State Police have initiated an investigation into the actions of members of the Authority’s Board and companies sponsoring the jail. So we not only have a constitutional issue, we possibly have 4 Virginia code violations and an ensuing law suit by the Authority who are using my tax dollars to sue me. Ironic isn’t it?
Mark W. Prince

The RSW RJ Authority stated that they lost money on this bond sale because the interest rate went up $50,000 a year and they wanted the protesters to pay this difference because of their actions. This was because the VRA elected to pull the Bonds from the Pool because we informed them that there were numerous justifiable problems with the Regional Jail. What if the Authority would have waited to go into the next pool instead of forcing the VRA into having a standalone sale? What if the interest rate would have gone down $50,000 a year or you built a local jail for millions less. Would we be the recipients of this windfall? NO! They are so eager to place the blame on someone else for their mistakes. This move is just stupidity in abundance by our elected officials or wood be (SERVENTS). Which brings to mind that George Washington signed each letter as President “your faithful servant”, so he knew who was important and that was “The PEOPLE”.

Walker, you need to stand on your own two feet grow a spine and let these supervisors know what’s right and what’s wrong and not VOTE how they tell you to which is what you did. Because, especially in this case where you are violating citizen’s rights, you won’t be around long. Remember you are filing suit against 3 opponents in the next election. It’s easier to sleep at night if you do the right thing and after meeting with you, I thought you were better than this!

Helsley, you told me 5 years ago that you sided with Sheriff Carter about the Jail when I gave you the jail presentation; you then changed sides and didn’t listen. The Sheriff told you he could function with a work release facility for less than two million dollars and you didn’t listen. The Sheriff told you that he could build a local jail for 16 million where you will end up spending about 24 million and additional millions in operating expenses, so you didn’t listen. The Sheriff told you this suit was not what you should be doing and still you don’t listen. We told you not to ignore us and include us in the process, you haven’t and you still aren’t listening. You have trampled our rights and brought discredit upon Shenandoah County by your actions. I am ready to go to your prison if necessary to protect our rights as citizens and will not bend to tyranny; (which is defined as “an oppressive government by one or more people who exercise absolute power cruelly and unjustly”). You will leave the others alone in this fight because I am to blame for everything.
The six who voted to sue can share a cell with me before they are tarred and feathered and sent packing in the next election if you are not recalled before then.

One last question Mr. Helsley., what shall we call your type of government?
Shenandoah County; Conrad Helsley founded Helsleyism! (Sue and imprison people who protest)
Mark W. Prince

Thank you Cindy Miller Bailey for continuing to fight for the citizens of Shenandoah County. Just know, that you are so appreciated. God Bless you!!!

Is Ferguson a Neanderthal or a Cro-Magnon? Let's take a poll. The winner gets to dunk the dunce in a vat. But first the RNC needs to strip him of his Republican affiliation.

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